Curry Leaf Powder (Karuveppilai Podi)
4 tsp oil
4 Tbsp chana dal (bengal gram dal, split hulled chickpeas)
2 Tbsp urid dal (split black gram dal)
1 1/2 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
7 dried Indian red chiles
2 c curry leaves, stemmed, washed and dried
1 1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
salt to taste
Heat 3 tsp oil in a large saucepan. Fry dals over medium heat, tossing continuously, until they turn reddish. Don’t let them scorch. Remove from pan; set aside.
In the same pan, toast coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat, stirring continuously, until they smell fragrant and begin to brown. Remove from pan; set aside separately from dals.
In the same pan, toast dry chiles, tossing regularly, for 2 minutes or until fragrant and browned. Remove from pan; set aside separately from dals.
Add 1 tsp oil to pan. Fry curry leaves, stirring continuously, until roasted crisp, about 1 minute. Turn off heat. Let all ingredients come to room temperature.
Once ingredients are cool, place dals in the smallest jar of a blender, Magic Bullet, or Indian-style mixie. Grind dals coarsely. Add coriander, cumin seeds and red chiles; grind. Add tamarind; grind until mixture looks smooth. Remove spices; set aside.
Add curry leaves to blender jar. Grind them to a powder. Stir ground curry leaves into ground spices. Add salt to taste; store in an airtight container.